Having a new baby is a time of great excitement – that tiny little face looking up at you, eyes blinking. A wee hand gripping your finger as you smile down at them. What sometimes gets left out, though, are the reminders that childbirth is hard, and for some women, so to can breastfeeding be. Bruising and muscle aches are common, and for some, breastfeeding can be painful due to blocked ducts or dry, cracked nipples. But even if you find yourself in this camp, there are things that can help!
Your first port of call will usually be your midwife or other lead maternity carer. They know you and your personal circumstances and are ideally placed to be able to help you through this. Lactation consultants (LCs) are another vital resource if you’re able to get one – it is quite literally their job to be able to help you through the issues you might have when beginning to breastfeed. After all, breastfeeding may be natural, but that doesn’t mean it comes easily to everyone. Even babies have to learn how to latch and feed effectively, and it’s no different for mums.
Once you’ve seen your midwife or LC, they may suggest a few things to help with your comfort, and that’s where Haakaa’s range of accessories comes in.
The days immediately following childbirth can be a little uncomfortable, to say the least, and the work to establish a good breastfeeding routine can often be the same. Haakaa’s Hot & Cold Reusable Compression Pad Set is specially designed to help with pain and discomfort anywhere on your body. The set contains one Hot & Cold Compression Pad, designed to conform to the curves of your body, making it ideal for areas such as your shoulders or legs. This pad can be heated to help soothe sore, tired muscles or chilled to relieve inflammation and swelling. The included cotton sleeve gives a layer of protection between the gel pad and your skin, making things even more comfortable. But that’s not all this set has. The two Hot & Cold Breast Compression Pads are specifically designed to help you with your breastfeeding. Gently warm them up to encourage let-down or to help relieve discomfort from engorgement and mastitis. Alternatively, try chilling them to help soothe inflamed or swollen breasts and nipples. As with the larger compression pad, these Breast Compression Pads come with cotton sleeves to protect your skin. The final part of this amazing set is the two Cooling Perineum Compression Pads. These pads are designed to be chilled or frozen to help with pelvic discomfort, perineal swelling and other aches and pains associated with childbirth. Four cotton sleeves are included with the Perineum pads so you can protect the gel pads, letting you swap the sleeves regularly if you have heavier bleeding. There are also ten non-woven fabric covers to keep things hygienic while the pads are in the fridge or freezer. The cotton sleeves feature snap buttons on either side, meaning the pad can be secured to your underwear, similar to how a menstrual pad works. Each of these pads can also be bought separately, though the set gives you fantastic value for money!
Another option for helping to relieve sore and tender breasts, while also having the added benefit of improving milk flow, producing faster let-down, and releasing blocked ducts to prevent mastitis, is this gorgeous little hand-held Breast Massager. This massager features seven different vibration modes, and the soft silicone body is waterproof for use in the shower. The shell design means it sits comfortably in your hand, and the different edges give different effects. Gently press the wide edge along the side of the massager into your breast to help relieve general discomfort. The ridged edge can be moved from the outer part of your breast towards your nipple to help improve milk flow. Finally, the pointed tip is perfect for targeted use to help unblock ducts. Simply press into the breast tissue where your clogged duct is to help shift the block. To charge, simply plug in the included USB charging cable!
If you’re finding that your nipples are growing dry or cracked, you’ll be pleased to know that Haakaa has an all-natural Nipple Cream to help soothe and nourish your nipples, get your skin back into tip-top condition, and help relieve the pain that comes with nipple damage. This Nipple Cream is made of 100% medical-grade lanolin that has been refined to meet the stringent standards of the US Pharmacopoeia, leaving it ultra-pure while reducing allergenic properties. In addition, this cream does not have a single additive – it is completely free of parabens and preservatives, making it safe for both mother and baby. You can even use this cream during pregnancy – apply a pea-sized amount of cream to your nipples and areolas twice a day to promote supple skin. For the treatment of dry or cracked nipples while breastfeeding, allow them to dry after a breastfeed, then apply the same pea-sized amount of cream to the affected area with clean, dry hands, reapplying as needed. There is no need to remove it before the next feed! And if you still have some left once your breastfeeding journey is over, fear not – Lanolin Nipple Cream is remarkably multipurpose. It’s excellent for dry skin anywhere, including areas such as cracked heels. Just make sure not to use the same tin for your nipples and feet at the same time.
Sometimes we need to create a barrier when breastfeeding. Your midwife or LC may have recommended you use a nipple shield, but where to start? Haakaa has several different options. First are the more traditional Silicone Nipple Shields. These super-soft, ultra-thin nipple shields mould to your breast, giving a barrier between your skin and your baby’s mouth, and are ideal for mothers with only minor discomfort when feeding. However, for those who have more discomfort due to sore, cracked nipples, there is another option. Haakaa’s Breastfeeding Nipple Shield is a world-first design that suctions onto your breast, with an extended teat to put space between your nipple and baby’s mouth. These shields come with a choice of teat shape – the orthodontic is thumb-shaped to replicate the form of a mother’s nipple during breastfeeding, making it ideal for offering to breastfed babies. The nipple teat replicates the silicone teat of a traditional baby bottle and is well-suited for babies who are mixed-feeding or transitioning from breast to bottle. The orthodontic teat also comes with two base-shape options, round or triangle. The round base is perfect for those new to using nipple shields and suctions more easily. The triangle base is smaller, allowing for greater skin-to-skin contact. The nipple teat comes with a round base only.
As always, if you’re having trouble with any aspect of breastfeeding, or pregnancy or postpartum health, check with your medical professional. They’ll be able to look at your specific circumstances and help you tailor a way to get through things that will be effective for you.
This blog does not constitute medical advice and should not be taken as such. If you have any concerns about your health or that of your child, please consult a medical professional.